What buying Word Lens by Google means to people who love travelling - UPDATED

We’ve all translated words and even sentences from one language to another to learn new languages or sometimes just for fun and whenever we’ve done that, Google Translate has been there to seamlessly translate gibberish to languages that make sense to us.

As is customary with many large companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc., they keep buying startups smaller companies that have great products in the market. Recently, Google made one such acquisition when they bought Quest Visual Inc., the company behind the great app, ‘Word Lens’ which brings augmented reality to the smartphone market.

While Word Lens is able to do a decent job with the translations, it is nowhere near the algorithm used by Google for its Translation app. For now, the former app is limited to only French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, which is not a big list when compared to the languages offered by Google Translate. Moreover, when it comes to grammar, the app is a bit dodgy. However this does not take away the fact that the technology used by Word Lens is truly amazing and seeing text translate in real time will make you wonder how far technology has come.

What does Google’s acquisition of Word Lens means to everyone?

As people travel more and more, it is essential to either learn new languages (which by no means is an easy task) or have powerful applications (like Google translate and Word Lens) that will do the job for you, which seems more likely than spending hours learning new languages.

Now that Google has acquired Quest Visual, ‘Word Lens’ can go from strength to strength by using Google’s algorithm to translate words and make more sense of the sentences by using correct grammar. Looking at the wide list of languages offered by Google, the app can increase their database of languages and make the translations even more seamless, and so seems to be the intentions of the company too.

As Quest Visual tries to make its transition to Google, the company has been generous enough to make the App and the languages available free of cost for Android and iOS users. You can download the Android version here while the iOS can be accessed from this link [direct link].


Google has announced on its official blog that Word Lens feature of real time translation via the camera has been integrated into the Google Translate app. The app is available for iOS and Android devices for free.

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